Free oral, head, neck cancer screenings

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LEWISTON — In collaboration with the Maine Center for Disease Control, Oral Health Program, the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing at Central Maine Medical Center will offer free oral, head and neck cancer screenings from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m Friday, May 7, at the Jubilee Center, 247 Bates St.

The center has also partnered with the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, in conjunction with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness, to provide information and dental care resources.

The screenings, which last about 10 minutes, are quick, painless and designed to promote early diagnosis. The disease is one of the most common and preventable cancers.

“This type of screening is particularly important for people who do not have a dental home, where they are being regularly screened,” said Maureen Higgins, Dempsey Center cancer health outreach educator. “One in four people diagnosed with an oral cancer do not fall into the high risk categories, thus it is vital that all people be screened.”

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It is estimated that more than 70,000 Americans will develop some form of head and neck cancer this year. Tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco, remains the greatest risk factor, showing a link to 85 percent of head and neck cancers.

For more information, call the Dempsey Center at 795-8250 or toll-free at 1-877-336-7287 or visit www.dempseycenter.org.

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